Information on Horehound

Latin NameMarrubium vulgare
Other NamesMarrubium
Part UsedFlowering Tops
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, bulk herb.
AffectsDigestive system, Respiratory system, Liver
CautionsContraindicated during pregnancy.
Botanical InfoA hairy greenish-white perennial in the Mint family with whorls of small two-lipped white flowers.
DescriptionHorehound is a good expectorant and is commonly used for the respiratory system in coughs, colds, asthma, sore throat, and fever. As a bitter, it is used to stimulate the appetite and promote the flow of bile. Horehound is believed to correct irregular heart beat. Horehound candy was popular in the past as a cough lozenge.

To make your own horehound candy at home:

Make a strong tea by adding a handful of fresh or dried horehound tops to 2 quarts of water. Simmer in a covered pot on low heat for about half an hour, or until a strong dark tea is made. Strain off the liquid and discard the spent herb. Simmer the tea under low heat until reduced to about 1 cup of tea concentrate. Add 1 cup of organic brown rice syrup or barley malt syrup and simmer until a candy thermometer shows that it will harden into rock candy. This takes about 20-30 minutes. The temperature will not rise dramatically until all the water is gone--sugar boils at a much higher temperature! After the preparation has cooled somewhat, but is still liquid, pour the syrup into candy molds, or a pyrex glass baking disk to about 1/2" deep. Either let the candies cool or if using the baking dish, wait until the candy is semi-solid and then score into small squares with a butter knife. Immediately place the tray into the freezer. When completely cool, take it out and break up the small candies. They can then be wrapped up into individual doses with small pieces of wax paper. These candies will be much stronger than commercial ones, but they will not be particularly sweet. If more sweetness is desired, try adding a little honey or raw sugar. Using only honey for the candies doesn't work because honey candies will be too sticky when they are finished.
The candies are one of the best cough remedies--kids and adults alike love the taste. If they are too bitter, try using less of the tea concentrate in the next batch, but remember that the effective principles are in the bitter fraction.

Horehound has a taste of BITTER and a temperature of COOL.


Infusion1/2 to 1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture2-4 droppersful 2-3 x daily
Syrup1 teaspoon of the syrup

Ailments Treated by Horehound

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Asthmarespiratory antispasmodictea, tincture
Appetite, lack ofbitter digestive stimulanttea, tincture
Cough, chronicexpectorant, antitussivesyrup, tea, tincture


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